Read Mary's story

Mary contacted our helpline about her mother’s recent death. Sadly, mother had contracted Covid-19 and died in hospital. Mary went on to explain that she had recently lost her job and had just made an application for benefits – she had just started the five week waiting period to receive any payments and was really worried about how she was going to manage everything in the coming weeks.

As you can imagine, this was a difficult and an emotional time for Mary. Our caseworker took the time to talk through all the options with Mary and provided her with the details she needed to contact the Department ForWorks and Pensions (DWP) to apply for a funeral grant to help with the costs. 

Planning a funeral can be very expensive, it’s far too easy to put this cost to the back of your mind, but getting the right advice at this stage is crucial. If eligible, the DWP will pay the essential costs of a funeral, however this is usually only around half of the total. Our caseworker advised that ScotsCare could also assist with a funeral grant of £1,000 towards her mother’s burial costs. As you can imagine, Mary was very relieved to hear this.

Before the call ended, our caseworker asked how Mary how she would manage a further 4 weeks whilst she was waiting for her benefits to be paid. Mary had already asked for an advance payment, which she had used to get through the last week and pay utility costs. 

Mary had no one to help her, as she had just moved to London from Luton to be near her mum. So, relatively new to London, without her support network, no money and of course her Mum had just passed away, she faced a daunting situation. ScotsCare offered Mary a supermarket voucher due to her circumstances,  but more importantly she agreed for a befriender to call her once a week over the coming weeks.  She agreed she was socially isolated and thought a friendly call once a week might help her.

Our caseworker still checks in with Mary occasionally to see if everything was going for her. Our befriending volunteer had been in touch and they agreed a day and time to call back. Mary said “She felt much better knowing that she had support and that the financial worry had been eased somewhat.”    

Have you recently lost a loved one? Or are you currently struggling to pay for essentials to get by, contact ScotsCare on our freephone number 0800 652 2989 or email to find out how we can assist you.